When Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) and Lamont “Havoc” Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs), step into the ring tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, it will be a match-up of power vs. skill. While Lamont Peterson is the more experienced fighter, Errol Spence possesses maturity and a high boxing IQ as he enters into the prime stage of his professional boxing career. Spence weighed in at an even 147 lbs and Peterson came in slightly smaller at 146.75 lbs. When the two fighters step in the ring, I don’t think there will be much of a size disparity, despite fight fans saying The Truth will have a size advantage.
The undefeated Spence is coming off of 8 consecutive victories by TKO or KO, with his biggest test thus far coming from Britain’s Kell Brook in May of 2017. Spence dished out a beat down against Brook, stopping him in the 11th round with a vicious body attack over the last three rounds, and earned the IBF Welterweight Title.
Peterson, on the other hand, has been less fortunate over the course of his last 8 fights. He suffered losses to both Lucas Matthysse (TKO) and Danny Garcia (MD) and was given a controversial split decision victory over Amir Khan in 2011 in his hometown of Washington, DC. Against top talent, where Peterson has won the fight, they have all gone the distance.
So, tonight’s fight is the tale of a young powerful knockout artist vs an experienced and savvy veteran who tends to go the distance, but what do we expect to see tonight?
“I think it’s going to start out as a boxing match, but as we go on, it’s going to be a dog fight,” Spence said. “We both have big hearts. I’ve never known Lamont to turn down any fight. Not a lot of people wanted to fight me. The big names shied away from me but Lamont stood up and said he’d fight me. This is going to be a hard fight.
Our prediction is that Errol Spence will retain his IBF Welterweight Title against Lamont Peterson by unanimous decision.
Although 3 of the last 4 fights for Errol have gone 6 rounds or less, they weren’t against the same caliber of fighter as Peterson. The one fight that was not stopped before round six was against Kell Brook, who is a fighter of equal or greater caliber than Peterson. This fight went 11 rounds. I strongly believe that had it not been for the physical and psychological impacts of Kell Brooks’ previously fractured orbital bone, which he suffered in a crushing defeat to Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, he would have been able to go the distance with Brook.
Spence looks for the early KO victory as his overall punch output increases round-to-round from round 1 to round 4 by 25.7% in his last four fights. More telling is the drastic increase in his power punch output, over the same span, which increased by 116% while his jab output decreased by 18.7%.
Defensively, Spence Jr.’s opponents only land 26.3% of their overall punches, while Spence lands 34.7%, so defensively, he’s is getting hit far less than he hits. Not ironically he lands nearly 46% of his power punches with the vast majority of those going to the body, which is 2x the rate at which he lands his jab.
“I can’t worry about people thinking that Errol is the next star in this sport,” Peterson said. “I believe that, but I can’t worry about it. The size may seem like an advantage for Errol, but it’s up to me and my team to figure out the best way to negate it. I know who I am. I’m a competitive person. It is up to me and my team to come up with the right type of strategy and execute it.”
Peterson on the other hand, presents the tale of two fights. He is known for starting slow, as he spends the first six rounds throwing more jabs than power punches (168 vs 143 on average). However, the second half of his fights are dominated by power punches where he has thrown 3.5x more power punches than jabs. This was especially true in his bouts against Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, and most recently David Avaneysan.
Defensively, Peterson allows more punches to be landed by his opponents as the fight gets into the later rounds. At age 33, fatigue is more of a factor and against the younger Spence, could prove to be the deciding factor the longer the fight goes. Will Peterson become more vulnerable to Spence’s power as the fight goes on? This is certainly what happened to Kell Brook, so we expect this fight to play out much like that fight did (except for the KO). I think Peterson’s pride alone will get him through all twelve rounds, but it won’t be easy.
Tune in tonight to live from Brooklyn, NY at the Barclays Center on Showtime at 9PM EST for what promises to be an entertaining fight!